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Cheeks named Pistons' head coach

The SportsXchange

Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Maurice Cheeks has been named the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons, the team announced Monday.

This will be the third NBA head coaching job for Cheeks, who previously was head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers. He has a 284-286 head coaching record in six full seasons and parts of two other seasons.

Cheeks, 56, takes over from Lawrence Frank, who was fired after the Pistons finished with a 29-53 record.

Cheeks spent the past four seasons as a Thunder assistant after being fired as the 76ers head coach 23 games into the 2008-2009 season.

Cheeks had three interviews with Pistons owner Tom Gores, and beat out the other finalist for the job, Nate McMillan.

"After spending some time with Maurice, I was very impressed not only with his basketball knowledge but his communication and leadership skills," said Gores in a statement released by the team. "We are very excited to have someone of his experience and talent help take this franchise into the future."
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